Duck & Buvette

For our second HOHOL for JSMN buddy reads, we had a very late dinner (thanks to the unbelievable metro traffic) in Duck & Buvette in Shangri La Mall. I think this was one of the restaurants with few diners, the reason why the place was picked.

The restaurant looks warm and homey and I think can accommodate more than 30 diners. I really loved the rustic look and their furniture doesn’t look massed produced, off the rack pieces. I especially liked the bar design – half round, 3/4 inch untreated moldings, which gave natural warmth and look over the bottle-filled shelves in the backdrop.

There were a lot to choose from their menu and it was hard picking which sounds delicious. We ended up ordering: Angus Meatballs (Php 240), Grilled Chicken Provencal (Php 320), Duck Ragu Pappardelle (Php 380), Chocolate Sourdough Pudding (Php 180) and The Earl’s Cheesecake (Php 190). The Angus Meatballs were just okay and a bit disappointing to see it only had 8 pieces of meatballs over a plate of fresh tomato sauce. The Grilled Chicken Provencal was better, it’s char-grilled chicken served with fresh tomato sauce and a cup of rice. The Duck Ragu Pappardelle was a bit bland, it’s also served in tomato sauce. I didn’t like it much because I want my tomato-based pasta a bit on the sour, tangy side so it didn’t fit well with me. Also, we didn’t realize we ordered food all served in tomato sauce until it was ll in front of us basking in tomato-ey glory, haha. For dessert we had Chocolate Sourdough Pudding served with vanilla icing, I loved this because of the consistency of the bread – soft, moist and compliments the sweetness of the ice cream. We also had The Earl’s Cheesecake, a creamy cheesecake with hints of tea.

This place is a bit high-end based on the price and serving size. It’s a good place to have light meals and desserts but not an ideal place to have a full meal. Their entree meals are average and not something I will go back to eventually although I might drop by for their desserts. I heard their waffles are the bomb but we were not able to try them out since we came too late and it’s already out of stock.

Duck & Buvette

Address: 2nd Level, Main Wing, Shangri  La Plaza, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City

Store Hours: 11am – 9pm, daily

Budget: Php 500-1200

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The Bottleshop

I really wanted to come here and see the different beers they have for sale. My friends and I have been planning to come here but we were all busy with work and found it hard to schedule a definite date to drop by and grab a drink. Fortunately, we had a little book activity where we needed to snap some shots from a list given by the moderator (including a bottle of beer), so here we were swigging bottles and taking photos of everything we can find on the list. We did this for the love of books and beers, haha.

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The Burgery


It’s very rare that we get to try out unique dining places in the south of the metro and since we had a meeting around BF Paranaque, we just could not pass the opportunity to pick a new place to dine.

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Class Heroes Short Film Trailers

Class Heroes is a series of thriller books for teenagers and adults. See and

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August Roundup

It’s been a little over a week in September and I haven’t posted on my August log. As usual, I was preoccupied with other things and was not able to regularly maintain my blog as I used to. Fortunately though, I have some free time today and will be rounding up little accomplishments and set new goals for the month ahead.

August has been a good month for reading. I was able to finish 4 books:

  • Ubik by Philip Dick (5/5)
  • Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke (5/5)
  • No Biking in the House Without a Helmet by Melissa Fay Greene (4/5)
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (4/5)

I feel happy with the books I finished. Apparently, there were no disappointments with the novels I have read and I enjoyed them immensely. For September, I still have unfinished books on my shelf but I think I can finish it in the week ahead.

  • The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand – been reading this since May, a bit philosophical but enjoying it since I don’t get to read much novels tackling architecture.
  • The End of Faith by Sam Harris – also started reading this last May. Haha, I have started a lot of heavy reads during the summer. I try to read a chapter of this every other week or whenever I feel like it. For a book that’s only 350 pages long, it’s taking me quite a while. Not giving up on this though. Atheistic, yes but there’s a grain of truth in it. Definitely not for the religious. I don’t think I’ll finish it this month.
  • Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee – September book discussion for our book club. Will be starting this after I finish The Fountainhead.
  • The Mythology Class by Arnold Arre – have started  a chapter of this graphic novel but haven’t progressed since. I plan to read this when I have a full day off and have no plans of going out. It looks like a short read that’ll only take a day.

Still have tons on my unread shelf. I don’t even know what to pick next. I have no art post for August since I have been out on most weekends. Hoping I can make some for September though.

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How to Make an Attractive City (Video)

We were watching this video in the office and I just had the urge to share this. I believe the message of the video is something noteworthy and something we as designers of the community should put in mind when proposing for a design.

The video, How to Make an Attractive City by The School of Life discusses the 6 pointers on how to build an attractive city and encourages people, builders and governments to take time to analyze and invest on making the city we live in not just beautiful but more in line with what our city stands for.

I firmly believe that each city is geared up for modernism and technological advancement but that doesn’t mean that it should abandon the glories of the past. It should be taken in mind that not all old architecture are to be demolished. Some simply can be restored and reused according to the modern needs. Not all needs to be torn down to make way for the new especially if it showcases something distinct and local.

Looking at the city I’m living in, I can say that there are a lot of beautiful architecture around if you look at them one by one. But look at them all together in one picture, it actually looks chaotic and unorganized (photos to follow). All architects/designers/builders would love to build something unique and grand but sometimes this goes at the expense of the overall look of a community where every structure boasts and tries to outwin the other in terms of scale and design. In the end, it doesn’t get the appreciation it deserves precisely because it looked chopsuey with the rest of its surroundings. Sometimes, we need to design with the existing environment in mind, not with the intention to boast but to make it unique while inline with the current order.

I especially liked how it pointed out that one of the things that make cities become more chaotic and ugly is the lack of political will. I find their sentiments very true, that we have abandoned the designs of the cities to the greedy rich developers. We have given up belief in democracy and has lost the battle between the public good for commercial opportunism. It also pointed out that beautiful cities are only built when the government impose strict and ambitious regulations, and establish clear rules to keep developers in check. This has yet to be done here. I believe that we have regulations regarding construction of architecture but it’s not strictly implemented. Urban planning and zoning are only visible on paper, on books, but it’s clearly not implemented. If you look at it closely, a lot of structures violate the Building Code but nothing is really done to strictly enforce it. At the current state of our (corrupt) government and commercialized developers, it is no surprise that making an attractive city here will be but a dream.

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Read It: To Kill a Mockingbird


To Kill a Mockingbird

by Harper Lee

“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… Until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”

I have been very curious about this book since high school but I never had the chance to actually read it because I always end up picking up another book. Nevertheless, it ended at the bottom pile and stayed there until two weeks ago when I felt compelled to read it before starting on Go Set a Watchman for our book club’s month long discussion for September.  A lot of people I know read it during high school for their required reading but my English teachers never assigned us to read this. Also, a lot of people I know liked it. Maybe more on, I don’t know anyone who has read it and hasn’t liked it.

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